Sokanu rates Ambulance Dispatchers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 13,500 Ambulance Dispatchers. That number is based on 8,100 additional Ambulance Dispatchers, and the retirement of 5,400 existing Ambulance Dispatchers.
Demand for Ambulance Dispatchers
While demand for ambulance dispatchers may be spurred by an aging population and a subsequent increase in emergency medical calls, consolidation of call centres and potential budget constraints of local and state governments will likely limit the number of added positions. However, due to the stressful nature of this occupation, the relatively low pay, and a competitive environment, the regularity of workers leaving the field ensures that there will always be openings for emergency dispatchers. Some new openings are expected, as dispatch centres need to handle more calls due to ongoing increases in cell phone use. Additional new hires should eventually result from ‘Next Generation 9-1-1,’ a developing technology which will allow dispatchers to receive video and text communications, thereby increasing the amount of information they must manage.
As dispatching technology becomes more complex, job seekers with advanced computer skills will be most in demand. Bilingual or multilingual candidates will also enhance their employability. Though not required in this occupation, a university degree or certificate in criminal justice or a related discipline will typically place job candidates at the top of employers’ lists. Those who obtain Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD) certification from the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) will be qualified to coach callers through basic, potentially life-saving procedures while they await paramedics. This credential is considered a particularly valuable asset in the field. Other designations, such as the National Emergency Number Association’s Emergency Number Professional (ENP) or APCO’s Registered Public-Safety Leader (RPL), further reflect job seekers’ dedication to their career. Equally as valued as this formal education and training for ambulance dispatchers are the capacities to listen, to calmly gather and give information, and to think quickly under pressure. Although they are, of course, required in all jurisdictions, most ambulance dispatchers are employed in large urban centres. Opportunities for advancement in the field are most commonly found in supervisory roles, training, and policy/procedures administration.
Supply of Ambulance Dispatchers
The Ambulance Dispatcher industry is not particularly concentrated in any state.
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